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Dwarves is a series of fantasy novels (two books at the moment, four in the original German) by German author Markus Heitz. He strives to give us a new take on dwarf tropes, while at the same time managing to play them completely straight.
Tungdil is a blacksmith, working in the village surrounding the home of the magus Lot-Ionan. He is a foundling and knows nothing of the dwarves, apart from what he has gleaned from Lot-Ionan's books, and is dying to meet "real" dwarves. After a student's prank on Tungdil goes wrong, Lot-Ionan sends Tungdil on a journey to return some things to an old apprentice, while insinuating that he doesn't mind if it takes a while.
Meanwhile, The fifthling kingdom, northernmost of the dwarven kingdoms, the guardians of the pass to the Perished Land are overrun, by forces of darkness from without and treachery from within. The Perished Land moves south once again.
In the fourthling kingdom, things are not going well either. Gandogar, aided by his advisor Bislipur, seeks to take the throne of the fourthling kingdom from the aging king, and declare war on their old enemy, the elves.
Contains examples of:
- The Alcoholic: Bavragor. He is more of the Boisterous Bruiser type, though. Except he isn't. He's drowning his sorrows after losing his sister to Boïndil's axes.
- Ax Crazy: Boïndil.
- Axe Of Plot Advancement: Keenfire.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Boïndil and Böendal. All the time, as it's how the were trained to fight.
- Bash Brothers: Boïndil and Böendal are twins.
- The Berserker: Boïndil He killed his wife, Bavragor's sister, during battle-rage, mistaking her for an orc
- Big Bad: Nôd'onn. Who was Nudin, making him The Mole too.
- The Chosen One: Subverted by Tungdil. He is put forward as a candidate for the fourthling throne, not because he has any chance of convincing the council to vote for him, and in fact no-one can even prove he is a fourthling. He is being used by the fourthling king to gain time to talk Gandogar out of a war with the elves, since both candidates have to be present at the election. Later played straight, when he turns out to be the one destined to wield Keenfire.
- Death Seeker: Rather surprisingly, Bavragor.
- Elves Versus Dwarves: Rather one-sided. The dwarves hate the elves for supposedly annhialating the fifthling kingdom years before the main storyline. There are even many who want to go to war with the elves, despite overwhelming evidence that the elves played no part in the genocide. The Fantastic Racism at hand is made even stupider with the realization that the elves are rapidly going extinct due to their Always Chaotic Evil cousins, the alfs, and that the elves are on the same side of the war against the Perished Land as the dwarves.
- Evil Chancellor: Bislipur. Who is also The Mole.
- Glory Days: Bavragor. He created some of the finest stonework in the world, before his love of drink took over.
- Grim Up North: Played straight with the Perished Land, however, the orcs also have a nation in the southeast.
- Black Eyes of Evil: The Always Chaotic Evil alfs, when exposed to sunlight, otherwise they look exactly like elves.
- Insistent Terminology: It's dwarf, not groundling.
- Mithril: In a wide variety of flavours. Every God in the setting created a metal with no earthly counterpart. These metals are all rare and precious, and used almost solely for ornamentation.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Except the thirdlings, whose founder vowed to destroy all other clans because he felt shunned by their god.
- Our Orcs Are Different: No, they're not. Tolkienian through and through.
- Planet of Hats: Each dwarven kingdom has one of the traditionally dwarven arts as it's hat: Stoneworking, metalworking, gem-cutting etc.
- Light Is Not Good: In book 2.
- Good Is Not Nice: See above.
- Master of Disguise: Rodario, the actor sure is one. Fooling orcs by disguising as Nod'Onn on more than one occasion.
- Large Ham: Rodario again.